The Whidbey Clay Center was opened by Cara Jung in 2019. The studio was originally established in Freeland more than ten years ago and has changed ownership and names a few times (The Paint Escape, Backdoor Clay). Cara first joined as a member; then purchased the studio in 2019. The current Whidbey Clay Center is three times larger than the original space, and the membership has grown from 15 potters at the beginning to 60 now.
Cara’s love for pottery and ceramics started 20 years ago. She went to a small college in Iowa and studied art and communication. After graduation she apprenticed with potters in Door County, Wisconsin. She also did some production pottery at a studio in Minnesota. Cara earned an MFA in Ceramics from PennWest in 2008.
Cara and her husband Robert first visited Whidbey in 2017, and they agreed they would like to move to the island with their three children (now 16, 12 and 10). Robert Jung found a job as a veterinarian at the South Whidbey Animal Clinic. The opportunity to purchase the Clay studio from Kimberly Muller allowed Cara to have her own pottery business and to be part of the Whidbey community.
The Whidbey Clay Center has evolved into a unique place for people who want to work in a pottery studio, and also provides classes for people who want to learn more about the art of pottery making. Members pay $135 a month and have access to the studio, equipment, and private storage, as well as being able to use glazes and firing services. Other materials available for members to use include ribs, knives, sponges, trimming tools, calipers, scale, Griffin Grip, bats, ware boards and buckets. Members need to purchase clay, but everything else is included in the membership. Included in the membership is a door code that allows the members to have access to the studio whenever they want. Members work independently, though there is a community attitude and they help each other.
Whidbey Clay Center (WCC) offers many enrichment activities for beginning potters as well. WCC typically offers wheel throwing and hand building classes, and occasionally, offers more specialized classes including mask making, pit firing, raku firing and wild clay.
One of the recent changes to the Whidbey Clay Center has been the addition of a gallery where the work of the members can be displayed and sold. The website also includes a listing of classes and sales that are currently being offered.
Whidbey Clay Center is a member of the Washington Clay Arts Association (WCA), Whidbey Island Arts Council (WIAC),and Freeland Chamber of Commerce.
Anyone who would like to know more about the current opportunities and classes at the Whidbey Clay Center can get information on the website: www.whidbeyclaycenter.com.
WCC is hosting a Seconds Sale on February 3rd from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. This sale will feature "seconds" or imperfect ceramic pieces at lower than usual prices.